This is a guest post from Blair Stocker of Wise Craft Handmade.
How to Sew With Satin Blanket Binding
I realize that is a picture of a blanket. In summer. But before you go running to the air conditioner vent, bear with me.
I have a habit of making wintery things during summer. Unexplainable, really, but I doubt I’m the only one. I recently made my first trip to Britex Fabrics in San Francisco (if you’ve been there, I am sharing a wide-eyed, nodding look with you right now). I found a beautiful piece of wool/poly blend fabric that I wanted to make it into some sort of blanket. A blanket for a getaway cabin I don’t actually own, but that’s another subject all together. Why wait for winter when I can get this project out of the way now, and share my love of pre-made satin blanket binding and how to sew with you?
Satin blanket binding can be found at most big box craft stores, usually displayed with the zippers and thread. It comes in pre-cut packages like the one in the photo above, 4 3/4 yds, single folded (measures 2″ wide folded). It’s meant to be sandwiched around the edge of your chosen blanket material, to finish it off. In my case, it’s this large piece of wool, but you can use anything… minky fabric, a thick knit, terry cloth, sweatshirt knit, polar fleece, you name it. (Note for upcyclers- I often see large wool remnants at the thrift store that would be perfect to turn into a blanket after a good dry cleaning.) This binding could even be used as a wide quilt binding. Lots of possibilities.
- Blanket Fabric (For reference, my fabric was 61″ wide, and I purchased 2 yards, so about 60″ x 70″)
- Prepackaged satin blanket binding. To determine how much you need, add length of all 4 sides together and add 10″. (I needed 2 packages.)
- Fabric scissors or cutting mat and rotary cutter
- Quilter’s ruler (3″ x 20″ is a good size, but any long, straight edge will do)
- Sewing machine that can sew a zigzag stitch.
- Satin blanket binding in a coordinating color.
- Binder clips
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
Trim a straight edge on the cut edge sides (the selvedge edges are fine as is).
The binding has one edge that is 1/4″ shorter than the other (see below). The shorter edge is the one that should face up when you sew, and will be on the right side of your blanket.
Open up the binding and, starting around the midway point of one long side, sandwich the edge of the blanket in the binding. Make sure you are getting the blanket edging all the way to the inside fold. I find binder clips are helpful to hold things in place. Do this all the way down the side, stopping a few inches from the corner.
Set up your sewing machine for a wide zigzag stitch. I set the width on my Bernina to 4.25 with a normal stitch length. (Practice on a scrap piece if you need to.) Begin sewing right at the beginning of the binding, and let your zigzag stitches straddle the edge of the binding facing up. Because you did a good job of sandwiching the binding evenly, you will be catching/stitching along the other bottom edge that you can’t see. (Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds.)
When you get a few inches away from a corner, you’ll need to stop and create a mitered fold. You can either leave the needle down in the fabric and do it at the machine, or secure with a backstitch and remove from under the machine, for easier folding. Open up the binding at the corner and position it as shown below-
Fold the binding back over the edge of the next side you’ll sew, creating a mitered corner at the corner, like below. The fold should be the same, but going in the opposite direction on the back. Secure in place with binder clips or pins, and continue stitching.
To add in a new piece of binding, simply clip it into place as pictured below, 1″ or so over the previous edge, and continue to sew on.
I like to add a few slip stitches at the folded corners and where the new binding joins with the old, just to keep everything secure.